Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Markus Schwartz grew up in an American household surrounded by jazz and has devoted the last twenty years to learning the wealth and complexity of traditional Haitian religious music. Moving in and out of Haiti since the early 1990's, Markus followed the lead of Haitian percussionists on pilgrimages into the countryside to lean the intricate and powerful drumming styles of the various lakou (historic religious compounds), such as Badjo, Soukri and Souvenance. Now a first call percussionist in the Haitian jazz community, Markus has performed and recorded with Haitian artists such as Mozayik (Afro-Haitian jazz quintet), Emeline Michel, Buyu Ambroise, Beethova Obas, Pauline Jean, Azor, Foula, Dadi Beaubrun, Eddy Francois and Wyclef Jean, among many others. Markus lives in the heart of Lakou Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy Anna Hallberg
Read the Soundkeeper Recordings interview with Markus Schwartz here.
Winner of the 2006 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition and the 2004 National Trumpet Jazz Competition, Jean Caze has emerged as one of today's most exciting new voices in jazz. He has performed with Herbie Hancock, Najee, Arturo Sandoval, John Fadis, Randy Brecker and Bob Mintzer, to name a few.
A Haitian native from the town of Port-au-Prince, Monvelyno Alexis began playing guitar at the age of 18. By his early twenties, Monvelyno had matured into an experienced guitar player and he was fortunate to meet and begin playing with Thurgot Theodat, one of Haiti’s most famous jazz musicians who was working to fuse jazz and Vodou rhythms. Over the next three to four years, he visited traditional temples and learned many of their ritual spiritual songs.
Paul Beaudry started his musical studies at age 5 on piano and age 8 on drums. He continued playing piano and drums until he took up electric bass at age 18 and acoustic bass two years later. A self-taught composer and producer he began writing and recording his own music at age 16, and wrote his first piece for orchestra at age 19. Paul has performed all over the world with Steve Turre, Wycliffe Gordon, Antonio Hart, Charlie Persip, Winard Harper, Dena DeRose, Allan Harris, Cynthia Scott, Eric Lewis and Miles Griffith. He has also performed in concerts or on recordings with such greats as Clark Terry, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Wess, Cecil Bridgewater, Eddie Henderson, Mike Longo, Roy Hargrove, Billy Harper, Dave Valentine, Don Braden, Wess Anderson, Billy Pierce, Gary Thomas, Cyrus Chestnut, Bruce Barth, Steve Slagle, Ron Blake, Joel Frahm and many others.